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Vegan for the Holidays

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Vegetarians in Paradise
Ask Aunt Nettie

We're delighted to share our Aunt Nettie with you. She's agreed to answer any questions you might ask about food, its preparation, and even clean-up tips. But we have to prepare you. She just might want to come right over to your house and help you fix dinner.

To send any questions to Ask Aunt Nettie an/or get her cooking advice, .

Editor's Note: Instead of Aunt Nettie answering individual questions, she has decided to address a number of requests from people who want to save money on the food budget and still enjoy healthy dining. This is one of a series of money-saving tips and recipes designed to stretch those slim dollars.

As an example of Aunt Nettie's impressive, penny-pinching ability to save, she still has some depression glass dishes and bowls in the cupboard--they're the real thing and she still treasures them.

In future issues of Vegetarians in Paradise, Aunt Nettie and her niece Zel will offer more money-saving recipes for the most extreme skinflints along with suggestions to help bargain-hunter foodies seek out cheap fare that still brings good cheer to the table.


Thirty-third in a series of articles


I come ta notice folks is not payin' any mind ta good advice when it comes ta eatin' what's good fer 'em. They jes wants to keep on pilin' their plates with what they want an' payin' no mind ta what Mother Nature knows is right fer keeping us fit 'n' sassy.

I knows yer mama kept tellin' y'all ta eat yer greens when you was just a tike, but I'll bet them greens has gone by the wayside today. Now, mind, tell the truth? When was the last time y'all ate yer greens?

No need ta go poutin' an' feelin' guilty. But it IS time ta git yer thinkin' turned 'round. Let's start gittin' back ta them greens! Now, why am I goin' on so 'bout them greens? Why jes 'cause they's the most healthy eats on this whole earth, that's why! An' they's heapin' with them antioxidants that's good fer yer heart an' yer immune system ta help fight off cancer. Did y'all know that?

Right here's my recipe fer a mighty fine tastin' kale salad that'll git ya right back in the swing o' things. The hardest thing 'bout kale is gittin' rid o' that tough rib, but it ain't all that hard when ya git right down to it. Jes grab hold o' that stem end with one hand an' pull them greens right off with 'tother.

Then chop up the salad fixin's in my recipe down yonder or other vegetables y'all like better. Add this deeelicious tangy, oil-free dressin', and yer all set ta git ya feelin' truly fit 'n' sassy!.

An' fit 'n' sassy is what I am, an' it's the truth.

Yer ever lovin' Aunt Nettie

Mighty Fine Kale Salad


Yield: 5 to 6 servings


    1 large bunch fresh kale, torn into bite-size pieces
    2 stalks celery, chopped
    1/2 small jicama, peeled and diced
    1 medium carrot, peeled and coarsely shredded
    1 large cucumber, peeled and chopped, or 3 Persian cucumbers, chopped
    1/2 cup (120 ml) raisins
    5 to 6 radishes, sliced
Walnut Onion Dill Dressing
    1 cup (240 ml) water
    1/2 cup (120 ml) walnuts, or finely ground almonds
    1/3 cup (80 ml) chopped fresh dill, basil, or cilantro or 1 tablespoon dried dill weed
    4 green onions, coarsely chopped
    1/4 cup (60 ml) plus 2 tablespoons lime juice
    1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
    1 1/4 teaspoons salt
    1 1/4 teaspoons organic sugar
    1/2 teaspoon guar gum or xanthan gum
    1/4 teaspoon pepper
  1. TO MAKE THE SALAD, put the kale, celery, jicama, carrot, cucumber, raisins, and radishes in a large bowl and toss well.
  2. TO MAKE THE DRESSING, combine all the ingredients in the blender. Start the machine on low speed for a few seconds, then switch to high speed and process for a full minute or two, or until the dressing is thick and creamy.
  3. Pour the dressing into a narrow-neck bottle for easy serving and pass it at the table or dress the salad before serving. Refrigerated, the dressing will keep for 1 week. Shake well before using. Dressing makes about 2 1/4 cups (200 ml).

If You Haven't Met Aunt Nettie. . .

Our Aunt Nettie has a head like a hard disk. It's filled with gigabytes of information about food and cooking. And she's just itchin' to share her learnin' with city folk who live in mortal fear of the stovetop.

Aunt Nettie grew up on the farm. She did not eat out of a can or reach into the freezer. There was no microwave to pop her food into. Everything she made was from scratch. All the food she ate was natural, without pesticides. It was grown right there on the family farm, and she had to cook to survive. At eighty-three years young she still leaps and bounds around the kitchen and can shake, rattle, and roll those pots and pans with the best of them.

Nowadays, Aunt Nettie just shakes her head and complains, "Nobody cooks anymore. They have no idea about puttin' a meal together." She's on a mission. She wants to help those younguns eat better so they can grow up healthy like her own eight kids.

Click here for past Ask Aunt Nettie Columns

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